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15 Dec 2018 | 10:21 AM UTC

France: “Yellow vest” protests held nationwide December 15 /update 5

“Yellow vest” protests held nationwide on December 15; avoid all demonstrations and anticipate disruptions

sécurité
transport
FRA

Event

Thousands of demonstrators participated in marches in Paris and across France on Saturday, December 15, as protests associated with the "yellow vest" movement continued of the fifth weekend. An estimated 3000 people marched at different locations in the capital and more than 30,000 others took part in protests nationwide. In Paris, demonstrators staged protests around the Champs-Elysées, Porte d'Orléans, Bastille, Saint-Lazare train station, the City Hall, and the Elysée.

Continued transportation disruptions are to be expected nationwide near demonstration sites, along with business closures in some areas. City officials in Paris announced the early closure or full closure of multiple museums. Transportation restrictions continue to be implemented in Paris around the Champs-Elysées, Place de la Concorde, and the Jardins des Tuileries. The RATP, Paris's public transportation operator, announced that multiple metro stations would remain closed on Saturday. A full list of affected stations can be found on the RATP's website

Further demonstrations are possible over the coming days. Associated clashes between protesters and security forces cannot be ruled out.

Context

The "yellow vest" movement began on November 17 to protest rising fuel prices and a planned fuel tax. On December 8, thousands of people participated in marches in Paris and across France. Clashes between protesters and security forces, as well as acts of vandalism and looting, were reported in urban centers throughout the country. Police arrested 1939 people throughout the country, including 1082 in Paris, and used tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets to disperse crowds.

The government had previously announced a tax increase on fuel prices, including gasoline and diesel, beginning on January 1, 2019, to promote environmentally-friendly practices. On December 5, the government announced the withdrawal of the carbon tax project from the 2019 budget.

Advice

Individuals located in France, particularly those in Paris, are advised to follow all instructions issued by local authorities, avoid all protests due to the risk of violence, and allow for extra time to reach their destination.

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